Italian pear almond cake

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It’s nearly three weeks since I made this cake. Since going back to work weekends have been a bit manic with mock SATs tests to mark and Moonwalk training walks to squeeze in. After the Easter holidays (which feels like a lifetime ago now) I decided we needed some cake to ease us back into the new term. I had accumulated quite a few pears and thought I better try using some of them up. I found this recipe via Pinterest. It suggests that it is more pear than cake so if you’re not keen on pears it’s probably not the recipe for you! I made this and a white chocolate and pear muffin loaf. I thought the muffin loaf would be more popular but this was the first to go. It was definitely a hit in the staffroom. Due to the ground almonds this sponge is lovely and moist and perfect for anytime of the day.

You will need a 20cm (8 inch) springform tin.

Ingredients:

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125g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
125g caster sugar
2 large eggs
50g plain flour
100g ground almonds
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 small/medium ripe pears (peeled, cored and halved)
50g flaked almonds
Icing sugar (for garnish)

Method:
1) Preheat your oven to 190°C/375°F. Grease a 20cm (8 inch) springform pan and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper. Set aside.
2) Prepare the pears by peeling, coring and cutting them in half. Set aside.

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3) In a large bowl with an electric mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and caster sugar together until pale and fluffy.
4) Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Using a spatula, fold in the flour, ground almonds and baking powder. Spoon the batter into the prepared springform pan and use a palette knife to even out the mixture. (The batter will be thick and only fill the pan a little but don’t worry it will be alright!)

5) Arrange the pear halves over the top of the cake and bake in for 25 minutes.

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6) After 25 minutes, remove the cake from the oven and sprinkle the flaked almonds over the top. Return to the oven for a further 8-10 minutes. The cake is ready when a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

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7) Leave the cake to cool in the tin, then run a knife around the outside and carefully remove the ring and base. Dust with icing sugar before serving with cream if you wish.

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